10 things you need to know today: July 11, 2019

Acosta defends his role in Epstein's plea deal, an appeals court dismisses the emoluments lawsuit against Trump, and more

Alexander Acosta at a press conference
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

1. Acosta defends role in Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Wednesday defended his role as a then-prosecutor in a controversial plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein on Florida prostitution charges in 2008. Acosta this week has faced calls to resign after Epstein was arrested on new sex trafficking charges related to his alleged abuse of underage girls. Acosta said the earlier deal was necessary to "put Epstein behind bars, ensure he registered as a sexual offender, provide victims with a means to seek restitution," and let people know Epstein was a sexual predator. Epstein ultimately served 13 months in jail but was able to leave during the day, six days a week. Acosta also defended the decision to negotiate the non-prosecution agreement without informing the victims, which a federal judge previously called illegal.

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